On the Radio

Week of February 26, 2017

Majestic Theater

Love + Evolution: Live in Madison

February 26, 2017

There’s arguably no greater mystery than who we fall for. Why do some romances fizzle out, while others flourish, and grow into lifelong companionship?  What can science reveal about lust, romance, and compassion? In a live show recorded onstage from the Majestic Theater in Madison, To the Best of Our Knowledge, in partnership with the Center for Humans and Nature, explored the science of love.

What people or things bring love into your life? We're building an evolving look at love, and we need your help. If the live show inspired you in any way, send us a note at listen@ttbook.org.

  1. The Wild World of Animal Sex

    Almost every creature on the planet has sex, and when you consider the sheer variety of different mating behaviors and rituals in the natural world, it’s hard not to feel grateful. The hoops humans have to jump through to find a mate pale in comparison to what other species contend with: post-coital cannibalism, detachable sexual organs, or traumatic insemination, just to name a few. Biologist Carin Bondar has devoted her career to exploring the myriad ways animals mate in the wild, and shared a few of the ingenious ways animals find each other, breed, and rear offspring.

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  2. The Joy of ‘Catching Flies’

    Performer Dasha Kelly Hamilton explains why all women need to be intimately familiar with the challenge and thrill of catching a fly.

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  3. Finding Love With 36 Simple Questions (web extra)

    Can you fall in love with anyone?  More than 20 years ago, psychologist Arthur Aron made two strangers fall in love in his laboratory by asking them 36 questions. Writer Mandy Len Catron tried out the 36 questions with a guy she barely knew. Now they’re in love.  

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  4. The New Science of Sexual Fluidity

    By the time most people reach young adulthood, even if they’re not in a committed relationship, they’re generally expected to know what kind of person they want to be with, that is, the gender of an ideal mate. Sexual orientation is widely assumed to be fixed after a certain point in early life development. But for years psychologist Lisa Diamond has been challenging that notion, and through her research offers a radical new understanding of sexual orientation, arguing that it’s much more fluid than previously believed.

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  5. Comedian Esteban Touma on Love, Marriage and Squirrels

    Esteban Touma reflects on love and marriage, and reveals how squirrels explain the mysteries of evolution.

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  6. What’s Love Got To Do With Evolution?

    Imagine you’re on a beach and off in the distance you spot a drowning child. Would you risk your life to save them? History is filled with countless examples of people risking life and limb for complete strangers, but why? How can evolutionary science explain that kind of selfless altruism? Evolutionary biologists Jeff Schloss and David Sloan Wilson joined Steve Paulson to explore how group selection can explain altruism.

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  7. A Single Throat and Four Appendages Attempting to Multiply like Cells

    Our musical guest for this hour, Asumaya, talks about how one person can play the music of a full band. Alongside some performances, he tells us what inspires the myriad of sounds he has in his musical arsenal. 

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Film Junkies (update)

February 26, 2017

It’s Oscar season and Hollywood is once again celebrating the best films of the year. It would seem we're a nation that's obsessed with movies, spending billions of dollars to watch them every year, and celebrating them with a variety of awards ceremonies. But what separates a classic from a box office disaster? This hour, we turn to a few of the people who know film best -- the critics, actors and directors who've devoted their lives to the si

  1. A.O. Scott on the Art of Criticism

    In his new book “Better Living Through Criticism,” A.O. Scott distills his decades-long career into a simple to read manifesto that not only explains the qualities of a good critic, but argues their fundamental importance to any culture.

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  2. Manohla Dargis Recommends 'Boyhood'

    NY Times film critic Manohla Dargis selects her favorite film of the year:  Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," filmed over the course of 12 years.

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  3. Roger Ebert on Film Criticism

    Perhaps no other person was a greater advocate for film and film criticism than Roger Ebert. With a career spanning more than 50 years, Ebert was the source America turned to for advice on what to watch week after week. A few years before his death, Roger Ebert sat down with Steve Paulson and reflected on his legendary and prolific career as a film critic.

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  4. Crying at the Movies

    What is it exactly that we love about the movies? For Madelon Sprengnether, going to the movies prompted a journey of self discovery and helped her cope with the sudden death of her father. It all started with a Bengali film called "Pather Panchali."

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  5. How Alfred Hitchcock Created Suspense Through Music

    Jack Sullivan is the author of "Hitchcock's Music." He tells Anne Strainchamps about the partnership between Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Hermann which resulted in some of the greatest film scores ever written.

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  6. An Inside Look at Hollywood's Death-Defying Stuntwomen

    It’s no secret that Hollywood has a diversity problem. Take for instance the fact that women only hold about 1 in 6 leadership roles in the film industry. And despite facing greater dangers, female stuntwomen typically receive less pay than their male counterparts. In her documentary “Double Dare,” Amanda Micheli follows two high profile women stunt-doubles: Jeannie Epper and Zoe Bell. Michaeli says women stunt doubles appear all the time in movies, and not always where you’d expect.

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